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Two Indianapolis Men Charged With Murdering Pastor's Wife, Amanda Blackburn

( [email protected] ) Nov 23, 2015 04:56 PM EST
Larry Jo Taylor Jr., 18, and Jalen Watson, 21, both of Indianapolis, have been charged with murder and other felonies in the death of 28-year-old Amanda Blackburn, who was shot while she was at home with her 1-year-old son on Nov. 10, according to the Indianapolis police and the Marion County Prosecutor's Office.
Reuters

Larry Jo Taylor Jr., 18, and Jalen Watson, 21, both of Indianapolis, have been charged with murder and other felonies in the death of 28-year-old Amanda Blackburn, who was shot while she was at home with her 1-year-old son on Nov. 10, according to the Indianapolis police and the Marion County Prosecutor's Office. She died the following day. The toddler was not hurt.

"All victims of criminal homicides deserve closure, and as a community we must send a collective message that violence is not an option," Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Rick Hite said in a statement.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said at a later press conference that no decision has been made on whether to seek the death penalty in the case or whether additional charges would be filed due to Blackburn's pregnancy.

Taylor was charged with three counts of murder as well as burglary, theft, auto theft and carrying a handgun without a license. Watson was charged with two counts of murder as well as burglary, theft, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and auto theft.

Blackburn's partly nude body was discovered by her husband, Davey, when he returned home from working out at a gym, but it was not clear if she had been sexually assaulted, according to documents filed by the prosecutor's office.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said Monday there was no evidence to support sex assault charges at this time, but that the investigation was continuing.

The Blackburns moved to Indianapolis from South Carolina in 2012 to start the Resonate Church, an independent Christian church.

"Though it does not undo the pain we are feeling, I was extremely relieved to get the news of the arrest made last night of Amanda's killer," Davey Blackburn said in a statement on the church's Facebook page after the police announced they had arrested Taylor.

"The investigators have assured me they have a solidly built case to ensure justice is levied."

Taylor, Watson and a third man, Diano Gordon, also of Indianapolis, are accused of committing two burglaries prior to entering the Blackburn home, according to the prosecutor's office. Taylor is alleged to have later told the other men he killed Blackburn after she charged at him, according to the document.

Gordon, 24, is in custody on unrelated charges but has not been charged in the Blackburn case. Police said an unidentified individual cooperated with the investigation.